Straight from the Senate - Issue 21

6.00pm | May 28, 2017



1.This week the National Foundation for Australian Women (NFAW) released their analysis on the impact the recent budget will have on women.

They found that some women will be hit with an effective marginal tax rate of 100%. In Senate Estimates this week the Minister for Women, Michaelia Cash, and the Office of Women revealed that they have not requested any modelling from Treasury on the ways in which women will be affected by changing marginal tax rates. Senator Cash, as the person coordinating women’s policy, has every opportunity to address issues affecting women in the budget. She has the information and analysis that could have informed the budget, yet at Estimates she did not seem to know anything about the effect of the budget on women. This should be a key priority for the Minister for Women.

2. In Senate estimates on Tuesday the Turnbull Government’s Digital Transformation Agency (DTA) admitted they didn’t try to correct the NAPLAN Online failure.

The technical failures led all states and territories to withdraw from NAPLAN Online, yet the DTA made no effort to address the problems. The month before NAPLAN Online fell apart the Turnbull Government boasted of their increase in ICT spending to $10 billion. This prompts the question; how does the taxpayer get value for money from Turnbull’s DTA? 


1. On Friday on National Sorry Day Labor Leader Bill Shorten MP, Shadow Minister for Indigenous Affairs, and Senator Patrick Dodson, Shadow Assistant Minister for Indigenous Affairs, stated: “Labor stands with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to reaffirm our commitment to healing and reconciliation, and to rededicate ourselves to closing the gap.” 

2. On Thursday Shadow Assistant Treasurer, Andrew Leigh MP, wrote an article on why Labor supports a fair, progressive taxation system. 
“There's nothing fair about raising taxes on middle Australia and cutting taxes on millionaires. Raising the Medicare Levy is a flat tax change. Letting the Budget Repair Levy expire is a regressive tax change. Calling either policy 'progressive' is flat-out untrue.” You can read his full article in The Huffington Post.


During Senate Estimates this week it was revealed that the Coalition Government is continuing with its plans to attack the pension. Finance Minister, Mathias Cormann, admitted on Wednesday that increasing the age pension to 70 years of age remains Coalition Government policy.

This would mean that all Australians, whether they work in an office or in manual work, would be required to keep going until they’re 70, and it’s yet another example of how out of touch this Government is with ordinary Australians. Labor will fight this unfair plan.

In Labor,

Jenny McAllister